San Juan del Sur Beach

The municipality of San Juan del Sur was a small and quiet fishing port, it was Nicaragua's gateway to the first conquest expedition under the command of Captain Gil González de Ávila in 1523.

According to historiographic studies, San Juan del Sur was part of the transit route or the gold route. This port is deeply linked to the history of the founding of the city municipality. San Juan del Sur was declared a terminal port in the Pacific Ocean of the Transit Route and was elevated to the rank of city in 1851.

The territory of the port was discovered by the Spaniard Andrés Niño in 1523 during his journey in search of the doubtful strait between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In 1830 it was definitively named "Puerto de la Independencia" by decree law. In 1840 the port was given the definitive status of import and export, under a new name: "San Juan de la Concordia", and in 1851, it was he declared it with the name of “Puerto Mayor”.

This port reached great importance in the mid-nineteenth century during the gold rush in the United States. Until the construction of the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, thousands of North Americans from the east coast traveled to California by boat, crossing the Central American isthmus through Nicaragua and embarking at San Juan del Sur for San Francisco. Mark Twain himself passed through the city in 1866.

There are relevant episodes that have happened in San Juan del Sur for more than a century, and that today are part of the historical memory of this municipality, the following can be mentioned:

In 1851 international trade expanded through this port, coffee, indigo and cocoa were exported.

Coast of San Juan del Sur sanjuandelsur_cultura_gal3

Coast of San Juan del Sur

William Walker arrived in San del Sur defeated on June 30, 1854.

San Juan del Sur was the terminus of the Transit Route in the Pacific at the time of the discovery of gold in California. Between 1851 and 1869, more than 84 passengers were trafficked to California and more than 75 to the eastern United States. The first tourist companies are developed in San Juan del Sur, hotels, restaurants and stagecoach transport.

San Juan del Sur is the sea where "the Nicaraguan navy" originated, its genesis was on Monday, July 21, 1856, its first ship was the schooner "Granada" as an official government ship and its first commander, Lieutenant of ship Irvine Fayssoux.

The first combat at sea was on November 23, 1856 in front of the bay of San Juan del Sur with a brig called "Once de Abril", from Costa Rica. In 1871, after the closure of the services of the Transit Route , the port of San Juan del Sur was known as Puerto Pineda, in memory of the supreme director José Laureano Pineda, born in Potosí, Rivas. At that time the merchandise traffic in the Pineda port came from Europe in steamers from France, England and ships from the United States.

In 1886, Rubén Darío visited San Juan del Sur, he was part of President Adán Cárdenas's entourage, he wrote a chronicle of the trip to Rivas, in which he recommends visiting the Los Conventos cave, a work of nature, and the office of the Cable, "where are the friendliest Englishmen I have ever met."

San Juan del Sur is one of the places with the greatest tourist movement in the country. On October 24, 2002, the municipal government of San Juan del Sur declared the port as a city "Tourist Port of Nicaragua".

In 2003, Correos de Nicaragua, honored San Juan del Sur on its 150th anniversary, with a postal issue showing an aerial photograph of the bay and town of San Juan del Sur.

San Juan del Sur is a city that has 494 years of foundation, 164 years of having been elevated to a city and 14 years of having been named a Tourist City.

Orality collective memory of a people

Sunset, San Juan del Sur bay_sanjuandelsur_cultura_gal1

Sunset, San Juan del Sur bay

In San Juan de Sur, as in the other towns of Nicaragua, they have their legends that are part of the collective imagination of the people of San Juan, among these are:

The magic legend of pirate morgan's treasure; He tells that a gigantic gold chain and a pirate's treasure are buried on El Coco beach; It is assumed that the brave man is still waiting to challenge the devil and fulfill the ritual to remove the pirate's treasure.

The other legend is related to an anchor. The myth tells that the anchor belonged to pirates. According to the oldest inhabitants, it was a ship loaded with merchandise and construction material that sank off the coast, and when the tide goes out you can see the anchor of this ship.

Crafts and other trades that express the Ancestral Popular Culture

Being a port city, one of the artisan activities that stands out is the production of boats and tools for artisanal fishing, made by the laborious hands of fishermen.

The resources of the sea are also used to make utilitarian, decorative and jewelry crafts: necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. The lamps made with snails stand out, which are a true work of art, made by the magical hands of the artisan, Mr. Luis Avendaño Narváez.

The trades of fisherman, baker, tailor, carpentry and blacksmith are very common in the municipality and are part of the daily life of San Juan people.


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